Sunday, September 30, 2012

YouTube Kinksters, Parking Problems and Psychopaths

I talked a little in this post about the podcast my brother and friend (pictured with me above looking all good) do weekly, Will and Bobby Know Everything.  In this week's installment I'm the guest host and things get nuts!  We zig zag all over a wide range of topics including the web of video dominatrixes I stumbled on, what mundane, normal stuff drives us crazy and a story about a woman I know who's got a touch o' the evil to her (seriously.)
 I'm thinking it's going to be as fun to listen to as it was to record- I crack up in it a LOT.  I listen to podcasts a fair amount now because it's basically like listening to talk radio, but you get to decide what's on.  It makes me a little more productive because boring chores become a little less so with something interesting on in the background. So check something off your to-do list with my new episode of Will and Bobby Know Everything!  You can find it and a lot of other cool stuff by clicking right here.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Why I Think "You Look So Skinny!" Isn't the Best Compliment

If you've read the "About Me" section of the blog, you might remember my saying that I used to write things in Gmail and save them in the drafts folder, just because I enjoyed it.  I'm copying and pasting one of those things below, and because I wrote it a while ago and in a different context it sounds a little more article-y than blog-y.  I thought of it because I spoke to someone today who was telling me about her teenage daughter who was trying to lose weight by doing Weight Watchers, and that she was only eating half of her daily points.  I said that she should probably be eating more because if she pushes herself too hard she's more likely to regain the weight she lost, on top of it probably not being super healthy, and the mom was kind of like "eh, she looks great, if it's working I'm not going to discourage her."  It got me wondering if maybe the girl could sort of feel that and how she felt about it- kind of getting positive reinforcement on maybe not-so-positive behavior.  I don't know them personally but I have enough context on their family over the years and know the mom's a little appearance driven- what if the girl doesn't even give a crap about losing weight, but feels like she should?  Again, reading a ton into it, for all I know I'm way off.  But it made me think of this thing I wrote and I thought I'd share it here.

Cheers to good body images! (Ok it's a stretch but I couldn't think of an apropos picture to post)

I'm having a hard time taking a compliment.

Like many women, my weight has fluctuated most of my life. I've been primarily chubby, occasionally tipping over to the not-as-cute "chunky." This isn't a new story. My weight has gone up and down, and my attitude along with it- sometimes as a teen twisted up in my sheets late at night, face puffy, red and wet, crying at the injustice and irony of my giant fucking Jncos not fitting in the hips, other times more ambivalent. Rarely feeling more than fleetingly good, but sometimes feeling not so bad. Until recently.

In about the last 2 years, a shift started to happen and I started to accept myself. Rather than swing from "ugh" to "eh", I started to swing from "hmm..." to "daaamn." This has been a change independent of actual weight, one I can only assume has been brought on as a result of wisdom through age and the confidence (or "fuck it" 'tude) that can bring. I wasn't becoming the kind of person who was wearing defiant, roll-exposing crop tops or anything but I was eating what I wanted and saying things like "maybe this is just the way I'm built and I'm fine with that", even if it was sometimes in a voice that was just a little too loud and sounded like it was a little more for my own benefit than others. 

And then I hit a downswing. All this eating what I wanted and not doing any exercise that wasn't incidental, while delicious and fun, caused a weight gain that I tried to ignore but my jeans wouldn't let me. When I found myself crying in the shower like a living Lifetime movie I decided it was time to face some facts and make some decisions. I weighed myself, found I had gained 20 pounds and decided I'd like to lose it. As someone who had been waving the fat flag, albeit at half mast, it felt like a tiny betrayal to want to lose weight but one I realized was necessary to feel better about myself.

Through eating more carefully and exercising on purpose/witchcraft, I've lost most of the weight I'd gained and I've gotten a lot of complimentary encouragement along the way that I've found a little internally confusing. As a hairdresser I see a lot of different people regularly but not necessarily on the daily, and those people have a tendency to say variations of "You look great! Have you lost weight?" when they see me at their monthly appointment. And while, yes, I have, and yes, I'm trying to, and so yes, it's a compliment...a small part of me doesn't completely see it as one. I don't resent the individual paying me the compliment and looking at me expectantly, but I do resent the fact that it's an assumed positive, that since I'm chubby I must, of course, be trying to lose weight. EVEN THOUGH IT'S TRUE. There inlies the conflict, as well as the awkwardness.

This actually became an issue, if you can call such a thing an issue, before I was even interested in losing weight. I'd wear a dress that was a little less flowy and people would excitedly tell me I looked thinner, and I didn't want to say "Thank you." Not to be bitchy, not because it made me mad, but because I wanted to somehow get across that it's not a compliment across the board and that I wasn't actually trying to lose weight, that I was happy where I was. There were a couple times that I just went "Oh really?" in reply to "You look so skinny!" but it felt like being rude by omission. I usually caved and said "thank you" out of politeness, and because they were paying me.

Now that I actually am trying to lose weight, I find the issue complicated further. I thank them because I am happy to hear it, but almost always clarify it with a rushed "...but I just want to lose the weight I gained, nothing more, I'm cool being chubby," still just a little too loud and a perhaps still a little bit too directed at myself. What's the best way to accept a compliment you're not sure you want to be paid? It's a question I don't have the answer to. But I'm trying to answer it as graciously as possible.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Weekend for the Books, if the Book's About Cheese

This weekend came in like a lion and out like a lamb who's got a sore throat.  Since last night I've been all scratchy and crappy, so for today I've pretty much laid low and cleaned my apartment like a madwomen, taking frequent hot flash breaks.  But earlier in the weekend!  Oh, the fun.  Come join me.

Katie's bachelorette party was on Saturday and pardon my french but it was the TITS.  Mike, Sarah and I took the train into New York to meet up with everyone else for Scott's Pizza Tour, which was a 3 hour jaunt around the city to 3 different pizza spots with a lot of pizza knowledge dropped along the way.  This dude knew his stuff and was so infectiously enthusiastic about it!  And I didn't realize it was possible for me to get much more enthusiastic about pizza.

I learned how to tell coal fired pizza from electric oven cooked pizza, fresh mozzarella vs. low moisture mozzarella on sight, what makes a margherita pizza a margherita pizza, and why the idea of New York water making the pizza better is a myth!

We also detected the safest pizza temperature to avoid top-of-the-mouth burnage with the aid of a lazer gun, and Scott offered up a pocket-sized fresh pepper grinder to garnish our slices...very profesh.  Scott is so into pizza that the tour has become his full-time job, he's appeared as a pizza expert on a couple of tv shows and I think he should be handed his own- he's super charismatic, I'd watch the hell out of it.  Seriously can't say enough good things, if you're in the area and so inclined definitely give Scott's Pizza Tours an afternoon of your time.

While we were at one of the stops my friend Kitty took a jokey picture that was supposed to be of me being blah and disinterested in the middle of a bunch of people, and it came out very fashion-y.  Just want you to see my big debut, look for it in an issue of Bust coming soon.

After the tour we headed to The Blind Tiger for a beer, and it might have turned into a couple of beers if it wasn't crowded as hell.  In some small ways I get spoiled by working on Saturdays- I forgot how crowded places get!  Especially places in the city.  After that we went to our room at the Carlton Hotel to hang out for a bit, which was way swanky.  I wish I had taken better pictures but Katie's sister basically laid out a full bar on the dresser and put bachelorette paraphenalia all over the place, my favorite being the "Caution: Wild Girls!" tape criss-crossed over the windows.  We hung out, had drinks and girlied up for our next destination.  This was one of my favorite parts of the day, just jammed onto hotel beds with my friends, bullshitting and semi-dancing and using each other's hairspray.  I spent so much of the day giddy, I already feel nostalgic for it.

The next destination was a speakeasy-style bar called Bathtub Gin that you enter through a backdoor in a coffee shop- Katie didn't know where we were going and her sisters and friend Holly gave everyone 20's style headbands as a clue.  Seriously, bridal party nailed it.  It was great!  I got a Sloe Gin Ginger Sling, which was strong and tasty, and Sarah and I split a cheese plate.  There was a big copper bathtub in the middle of the room that you could take pictures in, so duh, we did.

After Bathtub Gin we had our eye on McSorley's, which is an Irish pub that only serves beer and only 2 kinds, light and dark.  It ended up being packed though- Saturdays, am I right?- so we improvised and went somewhere else.  This is around the time my light started to dim- I was still having a good time, but starting to feel the effects of that bitch who hovers over my shoulder and tortures my uterus monthly, my period.  I was trying to hang but I felt like I was starting to give off a weird half-assed vibe amongst my party mode friends, and I decided to take the train back that night with my friend Susan rather than tough it out for a couple more bars and stay at the hotel as I originally planned.  It definitely gave me a little of a "womp womp" feeling- I was not thrilled about leaving unexpectedly and felt vaguely guilty, even though I know Katie didn't want me toughing out something that's supposed to be fun.  I'm still a little regretful, truth be told.  But seriously, before that I had the best fucking day I've had in a long time, so I plan to keep those 12 or so hours strong in my memory and try let the last couple take a hike.

Ryan and I had the last couple of days off together and spent them the way I like them- with a cheese plate, wine, and a lot of reading.

You tell I'm not used to composing blog-y, pretty pictures yet- keys and wallet in the picture?  Tighten it up, Rog.  But seriously, that was our jam this weekend- we spent a lot of time separate but together, reading outside on the deck of his house or comfy inside, usually accompanied by something delicious.  Right now I'm reading Dark Places by Gillian Flynn because this summer I ripped through her book Gone Girl (along with most of the Princeton population judging by my clients' book clubs' selections) and wanted something similar.  Ryan's been blowing through a lot of chefs' autobiographies.  We went to Wegman's for the above cheese and accessories, and passed my brother and his girlfriend Allie pulling in while we were pulling out- my mind was as blown as it can be by something so small because I didn't even know there was a Wegman's by us!  Oh god, that was the most boring anecdote ever.  Moving on.

The first hints of fall have gotten me entirely too excited and I find myself dressing too warmly almost every day.  It's seriously stupid.  About 10 seconds after I left the house in this yesterday I ditched the scarf and wished I'd opted for a t-shirt or something instead of the Canadian Tuxedo, stylin' as it was.  The Ry Guy and I went to the Spanish farmer's market downtown because they've got great deals, did more reading on the couch and then decided to walk to a bar nearby that has a really great rotating selection of beers for a cold one.  I got something yummy, then a pumpkin beer after that?  Even though I've grown to love beer, I still don't know a ton about it, but there are now keywords here and there that I've picked up on so I generally know what to order or not.  I hope the vocab grows on me a little more in the sneaky way that food stuff has- before I met Ryan I already really liked food (duh, who's like "Yeah no thanks I hate food"?) and knew a good amount about it but I've definitely learned more about the fancier side of it since we've been dating.  Recently I said something that prompted Ryan to go "aww, you know about foi gras!" or whatever it was in a voice like a proud preschool teacher and I think I punched him in the arm and told him to shove it but I have to admit, dude has taught me some things.  Like how to love again.  RALPH, kidding.

That's pretty much it!  As I said, I'm feeling a little like a cold is oncoming so I've been trying to hold it off with what seriously must have amounted to gallons of Gypsy Cold Care and Echinacea tea all day while I cleaned my apartment and started to put out some fall decorations.  In about 2 weeks I'm going to roll out the Halloween goodies...can't wait!  For now I better get back to uh, Masterpiece Theatre, definitely not Pretty Little Liars season 3...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pretty Little Liars/Black Tar Heroin, Same Diff

That little grey box on my big grey box (my tv, it sticks out a foot and a half from the wall and let's call it "old school") has got me pretty cheezed.  And I wish I could tell you it was because I'm on the edge of my seat over something cool and adult like what Walter White is going to do to Tuco or what whoever Steve Buscemi plays on Boardwalk Empire is going to do to...prohibition?  Is that what that show is about?  No, in the last 3 days I've gotten hooked on Pretty Little Liars.

 And when I say "hooked" I mean hooked, blowing through 10 episode in a way that feels more like a compulsion than something that I'm fully enjoying for the pleasure of it- although there is that, too.  I imagine that hitting the button for the next episode is satisfying the same nagging need that trichotillomania sufferers give into by pulling out their hair.  And I'm none too pleased that the episode I'm super annoyed I don't get to watch has a description that says the girls go "glamping."  OH, UGH.  What have I become?  Maybe I'm regressing because one of the witches from Charmed plays a mom on it (I'm 100 years old) and since that show was my preteen jam it's soothing to me on the same subconscious level that sleeping with your childhood blanket might be.  Or maybe I'm over thinking the fact that I'm into a show where attractive young people are caught up in a mystery- duh, I love anything spooky or who-dun-it-y.  I could probably get into a show where people just mouth things to each other so I can't hear or understand, but I'm pretty sure someone's been killed.

I got started on Monday when I was feeling a little couch-bound after my friends Evan and Emily's wedding, which I figure I'll probably write about a little more when I have more pictures than these:

The next of the 4 weddings I'm attending this fall is in 3 weeks...I hope I don't keep spiraling further backward and develop an iCarly obsession afterward. Or do I?  I don't even know myself anymore.  I need to go do something really intellectual and pretentious, like read a book written in Latin for fun.  Or maybe I'll just try to refresh Netflix.

Monday, September 3, 2012

My Mom and I Know Everything

My brother Will and our friend Bobby do a weekly podcast called Will and Bobby Know Everything where they have a different host every week and basically just talk about whatever- sometimes it's a specific topic, like crime, and sometimes it's just something the guest host has going on that's interesting.  Even though it's my brother and friend so I'm biased, I think it's a really, really funny show and I listen to every single one the day it comes out. Which brings me to my point- this week's guest host is my mom, and I pop in for some of the action too! I was actually just stopping over at Will's apartment to drop off a bag that sold from the shop because my mom helps me out with shipping, and they asked me to stay and talk. Unfortunately the first thing that came up was an incident involving a bag of Raisinets and grocery store security guards from my teenage years, but oh well. Check it out if you're interested!

Will and Bobby Know Everything